Tell us a bit about your background and what brought you to Japan.
I’m a 37-year-old professional freelance makeup artist, studied and worked in London. I was born in Seattle, worked as a model/actress turned makeup artist. I wanted to pursue it further to receive my IMA (International Makeup Association) qualification, so I went to The London School of Beauty and Makeup and graduated at the top of my class. Growing up, I played Rugby for seven years and was an aerobics instructor as well as playing fast-pitch (softball). Rugby was what made me the tough broad I am today, and also put the travel bug in me.
I’m also the wife of a fellow EFN fighter, and mother of a six-year-old son who has also started boxing at Club 360 with Jan Kaszuba, my trainer. It has become a family affair since I started training in September 2014. My boys could see how enthusiastic I was about boxing, so they wanted in on the fun. Now here we are eating, sleeping, breathing, boxing. John “The Butcher” Trollope, who is on the blue team, is my husband. We came to Japan two years ago for his job. We met in 2005 while I was working at Harley Davidson (love at first sight, but that’s another story) and moved to London, Zurich, and now Tokyo with our son Harrison.
Do you have any experience fighting prior to Executive Fight Night?
My first experience with boxing was in June 2014 in a class taught by Jan with the former EFN champ Elizabeth “Hot Hands” Taylor. At EFN IV, her husband Nick and her basically told me I will fight in the next one. Not asking, but telling. A bit unsure, I said I would attend a class with her to see if it was something I wanted to pursue, and after that class I was “hooked”! (No pun intended.)
Is this your first time participating in EFN? Why did you decide to step into the ring this year?
This is my first EFN experience, and being able to raise money for Shine On! Kids. I am pledging for a four-year-old boy for this fight, and hope we break the record for pledges this year. Shine On! Kids is such a great program for these little fighters, and I am honored to be a part of it this year.
Tell us about your training for the fight. What were your expectations going in? How has the training differed from what you expected?
Training for this fight has been an intense ride, and these next few weeks leading up to the “Big Dance” are going to shed more blood, sweat, and dedication than I think any of us have endured before. From the first weeks of EFN training, we were all pretty nervous about who was going to make the cuts and, especially, who we would be fighting. Fortunately, my opponent and I have become really good friends, as we were training together this past fall and winter. I think everyone knew this would be a great fight—like Rocky and Apollo. Many of us this year had started training well ahead of the tryouts, so the fitness levels are high and we can concentrate more on our technique, strength, and style. Each week we all train harder and faster, and put in more hours.
Please explain the process of training, the steps you have gone through each week, and how that preparation has progressed as you’ve gone deeper into training.
Going into the EFN training is not for the faint of heart, as it pushes you to the limits physically and mentally. I think many of us knew what to expect, but as of now most are training five or six days a week—with and without injuries. Now that we are one month out, everyone is a bit more aggressive than usual, which makes for interesting sparing sessions. I personally didn’t realize how much of a mind game this sport truly is. One minute you feel you’re doing well, the next week you are doubting yourself. Then, you snap out of it and work harder than you ever have before, realizing yes, I am stronger and I will push those limits. The most difficult part of training for me is working with my fellow boxers and not wanting to hurt anyone. You tend to hear “sorry” quite a bit when making contact, for the simple fact we have all become a family. Everyone is very quick to forgive and carry on with the beatings.
On a personal level, how has training for EFN changed you? Is there anything about your personal routine, your health, or your attitude towards work that has changed as a result?
The intense training has made definite improvements in my life, overall health, and well-being. I’ve always been a morning person, so the 6:30am sessions suit me well. They get the blood flowing and are a great way to start the day. I’m in bed early these days, as you want to be able to perform at your best and make each session count. One particular thing I find humorous is every movement I make, whether its moving around something or looking for something in a cupboard, I incorporate boxing moves. It seems to consume you, but in a good way.
What are you expecting when you step into the ring on June 19?
Stepping into the ring that night, my expectations are limitless, as anything could happen. I know one thing for certain, and that is I will give it my all and, if all goes well, I will take home a win and make a little four-year-old fighting cancer very happy.
Do you plan to participate in EFN again next year or sometime down the road?
This has been truly one of the best experiences of my life, and I would recommend it to anyone who can tackle the challenge. Will I go for another EFN? Possibly. I guess I will have to see how it plays out.
Do you have any advice for someone considering trying out next year?
One thing is certain: If you want to try out for EFN VI, then definitely start your training soon. I’m really thankful for Elizabeth’s encouragement.